Despite attempts to quiet traffic with a pine tree barrier, the 55-and-up community has asked for a $4.5 million wall to alleviate noise from nearby I-75.
Residents of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Golf & Country Club are banding together in the hope of convincing politicians and state transportation officials to build a wall to block noise from nearby Interstate 75.
Many of the 350 residents who showed up to a meeting with officials argued that a $4.5 million wall is the best way to quiet the sounds of traffic, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The residents are part of a 55-and-up community.
Three weeks ago, the state Department of Transportation agreed to realign a segment of I-75 that would have added additional lanes to placate resident complaints. The updated plan will leave a pine tree buffer where it stands to alleviate noise problems.
Now, residents are arguing they’ve only put “window dressing” on the issue.
“Vegetation has very little or absolutely no effect on noise,” said resident Richard Bond. “The future values of our homes are going to go down if the road noise gets louder and louder.”
Others believe that leaving the pine tree buffer is still a step in the right direction.
“It would’ve been so much closer to us, and no trees,” said Ray Proch, Vice President of the Tampa Bay Community Association. “We’re much better off than prior to them making the move.”
Noise problems in the Tampa Bay area are not new, and officials acknowledge that if one community gets a noise barrier, others will want one as well.
Sharon Armstrong, who works the information desk at the community’s clubhouse, said she and her husband built a home on the eastern edge of the subdivision before deciding to move further from the highway because of noise.
“But the traffic just got to us,” she said. “I don’t think there’s any place in the community where you cannot hear the noise. It’s sad because it’s a beautiful community, and it’s kind of going to waste.”